As regular readers know, I have, for some time, been writing on warning flags that could conceivably lead to civil war. The SMM Second Civil War archive is available here. For background, a worthy article, by the always worthy Victor Davis Hanson, is helpful in showing us where we are, and where we dare not go:
America over the last half century had been nursed on the dogma that the Left was the guarantor of civil liberties. That was the old message of the battles supposedly waged on our behalf by the ACLU, the free-speech areas on campuses, and the Earl Warren Court.
Not now. The left believes that almost any means necessary, extra-legal and anti-constitutional or not, are justified to achieve their noble ends. Progressive luminaries at CNN and the New York Times have lectured us that reporters need not be disinterested any more in the age of Trump—or that it might be a crime to shout ‘lock her up’ at a Trump rally. Will those standards apply to coverage of future Democratic presidents?
In the same way that the Democrat Party has for decades pretended to be champions of Black people, despite being the party of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, lynching, segregation, and viciously and violently resisting every attempt to obtain civil rights for Black people, Hanson correctly notes they have pretended to be champions of the Constitution. Over the years, the ACLU often asked me to join their happy band. Whenever they did, I wrote back to tell them I’d be happy to become a member of the family if only they would uphold the Second Amendment. It will come as no surprise, I suspect, to learn they never responded to my seemingly reasonable condition, in writing or otherwise. By all means, read Hanson’s article, which lays bare the Left’s hostility to the Constitution, and in so doing, to all normal Americans.
Circa April, 2019, socialists, for that is what the Democrat Party has become, are focused on a new attack on the Constitution: destroying, or circumventing, the Electoral College. They do this for one cynically destructive reason: to win ultimate political power. They can’t win national elections if they tell the truth about their policies and intentions. For some reason, most Americans don’t want to pay most of their salary to the government for the privilege of increasing its power and eliminating their rights. Still, Socialists are absolutely unwilling to change their policies to better appeal to normal Americans, thus they seek to change the very nature of elections so they can win, and once seizing ultimate power, they, like Darth Vader, will change the constitutional bargain to ensure they can never be voted out of office.
The best, and most complete, article on the attendant dangers was written by Hans A. Spakovsky at Heritage.com:
Since the 2000 U.S. presidential election, there have been many ill-informed calls to abolish the Electoral College. Even before that contentious election, there had been more than 700 proposals introduced in Congress to amend the Constitution to change the Electoral College—more than on any other topic.
The latest scheme, the National Popular Vote (NPV) plan, is bad public policy. The NPV plan would:
*Diminish the influence of smaller states and rural areas of the country;
*Lead to more recounts and contentious conflicts about the results of presidential elections; and
*Encourage voter fraud.
For Socialists, these are not bugs, but features. I quibble with Spakovsky only in noting the NPV would not encourage vote fraud, but enable and ensure it–it’s the point. The Constitution notes:
‘Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.’ Although electors were initially appointed directly by state legislatures, some states like Pennsylvania and Virginia allowed popular election even in the first presidential election.
By 1836, only South Carolina did not provide for the direct election of electors, and ‘since the Civil War, electors have been popularly chosen in all states.’ The slate of electors chosen by voters then cast their votes for President and Vice President in their respective states on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Forty-eight states have a winner-take-all system that allocates all of their electoral votes to whatever presidential candidate wins the popular vote in that state.
Changing or eliminating the Electoral College can be accomplished only by an amendment to the Constitution, which requires the consent of two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states. From a political standpoint, there is almost no probability that such an amendment will be approved in the near future.
So what is the National Popular Vote ploy? It’s an agreement among states, an interstate compact, that pledges every electoral vote in those states based on the outcome of the popular vote. In other words, because Socialists can’t win through the Electoral College—the Constitution—they want to win via the popular vote, which has been until now irrelevant. The NPV would have given us President Al Gore and President Hillary Clinton, both of whom won the constitutionally irrelevant popular vote.
It’s an attempt to render the Constitution meaningless as to electing the president. Oh, the words would still be written on paper, but they would have no application, and the most populous states—coincidentally Socialist controlled states—would always elect the president. It would be as though Flyover Country–the red states–did not exist. Socialists are, of course, annoyed by the unenlightened denizens of the red states, toothless, pickup driving, sister marrying, Trump voting, deplorable, WalMart stinking sub humans that don’t wear the latest fashions, refuse to recognize the moral and intellectual superiority of the self-imagined elite, and refuse to appreciate their policies and good intention and also stubbornly refuse to vote for the right people. Better to render them as irrelevant as the outmoded, inconvenient Constitution they so revere.
Fortunately, the Constitution does not allow such compacts without congressional consent, and amending the Constitution is notoriously, and righteously, difficult:
Supporters of the NPV claim that because the Constitution gives state legislatures the power to determine how electors are chosen, the NPV is constitutional and requires no approval by Congress. Such claims, however, are specious. The NPV is unconstitutional because it would give a group of states with a majority of electoral votes ‘the power to overturn the explicit decision of the Framers against direct election. Since that power does not conform to the constitutional means of changing the original decisions of the framers, NPV could not be a legitimate innovation.’
There are more than sufficient socialist judges in the lower courts that would ignore this provision of the Constitution, as they regularly do.
The very purpose of this [constitutional] clause was to prevent a handful of states from combining to overturn an essential part of the constitutional design. The plain text makes it clear that all such state compacts must be approved by Congress.
This points to the danger of a Congress and presidency controlled entirely by socialists. They would, in short order, approve any and all interstate compacts that would benefit them and keep them perpetually in power. Do not, gentle readers, for a moment think they are unaware of this power, or that they intend to use it when they can to seize greater power for government while diminishing your rights. They need not have every state involved in a NPV, just enough to tip the balance.
By circumventing the checks and balances of Congress, the NPV would risk setting a precedent that states can validate non–congressionally approved compacts as a substitute for a constitutional amendment. Undoubtedly, many liberal activist groups would like to create their own compacts or to lobby states individually to join compacts. Such compacts could then create de facto constitutional amendments regarding many different public policy issues—including purely federal matters.
Not only would a NPV lead to more, and more acrimonious recounts, to say nothing of massive note fraud, it would have other damaging effects:
In addition, the NPV could destabilize America’s two-party system, leading to a higher incidence of close elections. The NPV awards the presidential election to whichever candidate receives the “largest” national vote, not the majority of the national popular vote. In an electoral system defined by the NPV, numerous fringe parties and radical candidates, appealing solely to the largest population centers, would likely emerge. Consequently:
Presidential campaigns would devolve into European-style, multi-candidate races. As more candidates enter the field, individual votes will necessarily be divided among an ever-increasing number of candidates. The result will be lower vote totals per candidate and an increased likelihood that two or more candidates will have close popular vote totals.
Socialists plan to use vote fraud to ensure their permanent rule. All the vote fraud they’ve done to this point was merely practice. I’m sure Spakovsky is using “unforeseen” simply as a commonly understood phrase. We surely foresee the results of vote fraud:
Another unforeseen consequence of the NPV is that the plan would encourage vote fraud. Currently, a fraudulent vote is counted only in the district in which it was cast and therefore can affect the electoral votes only in that particular state. Under the NPV, however, vote fraud in any state would affect the aggregate national vote.
To a would-be wrongdoer, this is a drastic increase in the potential benefit obtained from casting fraudulent ballots. Fraudsters would be encouraged to engage in fraud to obtain further votes for their national candidate or to deny votes for the opposition candidate. Under the current system, there are some states where such fraud would make no difference, but with the NPV, every fraudulent vote obtained anywhere could make the difference in changing the outcome of the national race.
This prospect is even more worrisome when one considers how much easier it is to cast fraudulent votes in strongly partisan neighborhoods and one-party districts where there are no (or few) members of the opposition party to work as election officials or poll watchers. There is little incentive to engage in such partisan fraud where it is most possible now, since the dominant party is likely to win anyway, but under the NPV scheme, there is an increased incentive to engage in fraud in such states that are the most corrupt and one-sided even if others have relatively clean elections. Thus, this scheme makes all states—especially one-party states and those with a history of tolerating fraud—targets for fraud, likely increasing this type of misbehavior nationwide.
By all means, take the link and read the entire comprehensive article. I’ve seen no other that will so well inform you of the tyranny of NPV.
How then could this lead to a second civil war? America, as the Founders envisioned it, and as it has existed for more than two centuries, survives because until recently, most Americans honored the Constitution. They believed in and acted upon American Constitutionalism. They were more than willing to say: “That might be nice, but the Constitution forbids it, so we’re not doing it.” They understood the wisdom of vesting maximum power in the people and minimal power in the federal government.
To be sure, Democrats often lied. They claimed to believe in the Constitution even as they stealthily worked to undermine it. Many, perhaps most, having shifted toward Socialism, no longer so much as pretend.
When the day arrives that Americans populating most of the area of our nation no longer believe they have a voice in government, the stage is set for civil war. As I’ve often noted, Americans will put up with a great deal as long as they can, but among the first things a permanent socialist government would do is eliminate all individual rights under the First and Second Amendments. That’s absolutely essential, but merely the first leap into a utopian worker’s paradise.
Do all you can, gentle readers, normal Americans, to prevent first steps like NPV. Demand fidelity to American Constitutionalism. Remember that every power government possesses is loaned it by you, and that every power it seizes is at the expense of your rights and liberty. Educate your children. Don’t, as Mark Twain said, let schooling interfere with their education. At some point, the slide into war will be unstoppable. Don’t let it happen.